Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) today announced legislation to help protect the privacy of Californians who use the Covered California website to shop for health insurance. This legislation has become necessary after it was recently revealed that the state has distributed the personal information of tens of thousands of people who visited the government website to insurance telemarketers, without the knowledge or consent of these shoppers.
“When people browse the Covered California website to learn about their health insurance options, the last thing they expect is for the state to hand their personal information to telemarketers,” stated Assemblyman Gorell. “This legislation will require that Covered California keep site visitors information private unless the customer explicitly gives consent to be contacted.”
Gorell added, “This bill is consistent with other legislation I’ve introduced to protect the privacy of Californians. Whether the issue is protecting people from snooping drones or safeguarding their personal information online, we do need to be vigilant of how our government uses new technology.”
Covered California is the state’s health insurance exchange, designed to enroll people in a health insurance plan as mandated by the federal Affordable Care Act. Shoppers are not required to use Covered California for their insurance, and it is expected that the majority of Californians will continue to receive their health care coverage outside of the state exchange. However, many people who visited the Covered California website to compare their options have been surprised recently by unsolicited calls and emails from insurance salesmen who have been given their information by the state.
SOURCE: Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, Dec. 19